CHICAGO (July 26, 2022) – U.S. Soccer has announced the dates for the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s National Championship.
The Qualifying Rounds will take place across four weekends from September to December 2022. The Tournament Proper will begin the week of March 20, 2023, with the final scheduled for Wednesday, September 27.
Concurrent with the schedule announcement, U.S. Soccer has also opened the entry window for the Qualifying Rounds. Any amateur team affiliated with U.S. Soccer that meets minimum criteria may enter the competition prior to the Monday, August 8, 2022, at 4 p.m. CT deadline.
To be eligible to enter the U.S. Open Cup, an Open Division team must meet basic criteria spelled out in U.S. Soccer’s National Championship Policy, including belonging to a club or league of any Organization Member of U.S. Soccer and competing in a league with at least four teams where each plays at least ten league games during the year.
The Qualifying Rounds will be conducted on a single-game, knockout basis, with four rounds of matches in the fall of 2022 scheduled for designated weekend dates of September 17 & 18, October 15 & 16, November 19 & 20, and December 17 & 18.
All Qualifying Round entrants, regardless of level, Organization Member affiliation, or other attributes, will start on equal footing and must be able to host games in every qualifying round. Matches will be determined geographically to minimize travel time and expense, with random selection used when practicable to determine exact pairings. Home teams will be determined by coin flip.
The Qualifying Rounds are one point of entry for Open Division Teams. The alternate entry is via the National League Qualifying Track. For the 2023 Open Cup, the National Premier Soccer League and the USL’s League Two have elected to and meet the requirements to enter their teams via the National League track. Through this track, every league team enters the U.S. Open Cup and competes for slots in the First Round Proper via league competition.
A preliminary allocation of 2023 U.S. Open Cup First Round slots to each of the Open Division pools (i.e. Local Qualifiers and each National League) will be announced after the Qualifying Rounds entry deadline and the final number of Qualifying Round teams is determined. The final allocation will be set in January 2023, following the confirmation of the total number of professional teams for the 2023 season.
CRITERIA FOR TEAMS TO PARTICIPATE IN LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP LOCAL QUALIFYING
(see 2023 Open Division & Qualifying Rounds Handbook for complete details):
- Team is an outdoor soccer team based in the United States;
- Club or league that Team is a member of is affiliated to an Organization Member of U.S. Soccer;
- League that Team is a member of must consist of at least four (4) teams, with each playing at least ten (10) league games in the competition each calendar year;
- Team must be in good standing with the league of which it is a member;
- Any Team whose league is starting its first season of competition must have started its league schedule at least thirty (30) days prior to the Open Division entry deadline;
- Any Team starting its first season of competition in an existing league must have started its new league’s schedule at least thirty (30) days prior to the Open Division entry deadline.
- A team must identify and reserve at least one venue that meets minimum standards, including minimum field dimensions for qualifying rounds of 100 yards long by 65 yards wide and is available on at least one designated date for each Qualifying Round.
OPEN DIVISION TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
The history-filled annual tournament, currently at the semifinal stage of its 107th edition, is the only high-profile competition in American team sports where amateur sides have the opportunity to face professionals in meaningful competition.
Some of the most magical moments in recent Open Cup history have seen local qualifiers make national headlines. Beginning a decade ago in 2012, Cal FC burst onto the scene with road wins over the Division III Wilmington Hammerheads and Division I Portland Timbers.
In 2016, another Southern California side, La Máquina, reached the Fourth Round and pushed the LA Galaxy to extra-time before bowing out. A year later, amateur powerhouse Christos FC from Maryland earned a shock 1-0 win over the Division II Richmond Kickers as part of its run to the Fourth Round, where it led three-time Open Cup champs D.C. United (Div. I) briefly but ultimately fell after conceding three late goals.
Dallas-based NTX Rayados put its name in lights after a 5-2 extra time win over Division II OKC Energy FC en route to a Fourth-Round visit to the Houston Dynamo (MLS) in 2018. With the revival of the tournament in 2022 after a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus, a pair of amateur teams FC Motown and North Carolina Fusion U23 reached the Third Round but came up short in hotly contested matches against professional competition.
2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
September 17-18, 2022 First Qualifying Round
October 15-16, 2022 Second Qualifying Round
November 19-20, 2022 Third Qualifying Round
December, 17-18, 2022 Fourth Qualifying Round
March 21-23, 2023 First Round Proper
April 4-6, 2023 Second Round Proper (Division II teams enter)
April 25-26, 2023 Third Round Proper (Division I teams enter)
May 9-10, 2023 Round of 32 (8 seeded teams enter)
May 23- 24, 2023 Round of 16
June 6, 2023 Quarterfinals
August 23, 2023 Semifinals
September 27, 2023 Final
Seeded Teams = Four U.S. teams in Concacaf Champions League + next four best teams from 2022 Division I Regular Season Standings (2 East + 2 West)
Round of Entry for Division III teams will be determined in January based on the final count of professional teams.
The Commissioner shall have the authority to set dates outside of the confirmed schedule if such a change is in the best interests of the tournament.
* Dates of the Third Round Proper were changed (November 2022) from April 18-19, 2023 to April 25-26, 2023.